Archive for July, 2007
So, I often get the question “How’s the book going?” My brother who has purchased seven copies of Hijas especially likes to call me with this question. And I always answer with a “I don’t really know.” I mean, I know that my events are going between fine and great. I know that I’ve sold out of books completely at some of my signings, and I know that every now and again my Amazon.com rank number dips down to the lower side of four digits and that these are all good signs. But that is all I know. Because here is how the book business works (or, at least, here is how I THINK the book business works; I really know nothing): twice a year, a publishing company really totals the numbers of what has been sold. And sold means that you or your Great Aunt Maria or my brother Bert (who I call My Tito) marched that book up to the cash register, shelled out your hard-earned cash, and went home with a bright and shiny copy of Hijas (if you have done this, I thank you). So, twice a year a publishing company figures out what has sold, tallies how much that means you have earned, and then sends you a check (or doesn’t, if you haven’t earned out your advance). That means that 2x a year, a writer gets accurate feedback on how their baby (I mean book) is doing out there in the universe. So what’s a writer to do on the other 362 days of the year? (more…)
So this week, you can catch me on the radio and in bookstores in Atlanta, Georgia or South Charlotte. If you are in Atlanta, check out The Hub on WRAS, 88.5 FM (Georgia State University’s radio station) Wednesday between 3 – 4 pm for an interview about Hijas. Come out to Charis Books on Euclid Avenue on Thursday night at 7:30 PM for a reading and a signing. On Friday, I’ll be at the Borders in Buckhead for a 7:30 PM reading and signing. I’ll zip out of Atlanta that night to make it back to North Carolina to participate in a women’s health fair at the Borders Stonecrest location from 1 pm to 3 pm on Saturday, August 4th. I look forward to seeing you!
What does it mean to be beautiful in America? The answer to this question brings up all kinds of clichés. Reality shows, magazines, sitcoms, movies, and music videos propagate a certain image—tall, thin, and blond—that’s unattainable for most women. But pop culture isn’t the only place where beauty matters. Female news anchors, executives, and CEOs, even high-power board members, find that beauty plays a role in breaking through the glass ceiling. Beauty is so valued, it’s become a commodity.
The question that comes up for me when I think about the power beauty has over our lives and experiences is this: What happens to girls whose self-image is shaped by other people’s beauty standards, and whose own features aren’t reflected back to them in the everyday images the media promotes… (more…)
I am home from the beach with a burnt scalp (I generously applied sunscreen every day and then end up burning my scalp. Aye.) and some books and magazines crossed off my To Read List. Coincidentally, two of the books that I read were memoirs about homeless parents. In Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Nick Flynn—who worked in a homeless shelter– comes face to face with his father’s homelessness, life, and demons. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls looks at the powerful yet heartbreaking story of Walls’ family as her parents collide into homelessness and the children try to save themselves and each other. I’ll hit the beach again in August for another short vacation and then a couple days at surf camp (for an article I am writing) so I am looking for reading suggestions for the trip. What’s the best book you have read in the last year or two? And, because you might be looking for some suggestions, too, here are a few books I have read in the last year that might interest you: Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, Dry by Augusten Burroughs, and The Glass Castle.
What I love about being Latina: Our commitment to family and our willingness to laugh easily and often.
What I love about being Americana: The opportunities I have as a woman in this country, rock n’ roll, and FREEDOM.
If you are interested in a blog that keeps up with the latest news “in the Hispanic Book World”, check out the Hispanic Book Journal. I just found out that they did a review of Hijas and saw several interesting books while I was on the site.
I am headed to the beach tomorrow (today), and while I am mentally ready; I am nowhere near ready ready. I have this funny tendency (that I get from my Mamacita– here’s a photo of Mamacita as a ‘shout out’ even though she’s in Puerto Rico right now and is more apt to be spending her time al fresco on a porch than in front of someone’s computer seeing that I gave her a shout out. I bring her up here because I always tease her for walking through the entire house the night before she leaves for a trip and frantically cleaning every surface when she hasn’t even begun to think about what she is putting in her suitcase) before I go on a trip to get hyper-productive, but it is really just a form of procrastination. And so here is how today’s productive procrastination went down: I went and bought one of my niece’s Baptism gift (she is not being baptized until September, mind you, but I already have at least four gifts for the occassion) and then proceeded to buy her a Christmas present (or two), a birthday present (for May 2008) and another ‘just because’ present since it will soon be fall. A girl’s got to have something new for fall. Even if she is only three months. I then had to even out the spoiling so I promptly bought my girl’s big brother (my little doppelganger, I like to think, although it is becoming harder and harder for me to convince people of this when his hair keeps getting lighter) some things for his first venture into Mother’s Morning Out this fall. I have fairly reasonable sensibilities and tend to space out their gifts, make sure everything I buy is practical and not in some way duplicated, check things out with my sister first, etc, but even I had to call her when I left the store to say, “I have officially gone too far.” Looking at my watch, I saw that my planned forty minute foray had promptly turned into two and a half hours lost somewhere between Barnes and Noble (how could I have forgotten about the Harry Potter madness?) and Gymboree (and the Gelato place).